Have you ever told a friend or a colleague about an idea for a new invention and heard “great idea!” in response? If you are like most entrepreneurs, you have had this exact conversation at least a few times. If you are like most entrepreneurs, you have also tried to turn your great idea into more than just an idea and realized that your friends’ enthusiastic support does not necessarily equate to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) agreement that your idea is a good one. Make sure you ask yourself the questions below to take a deeper dive into whether your idea is in fact a good one according to patent law and contact an experienced patent law attorney to turn your idea into an invention.
Does Your Idea Solve a Problem That People Care About?
The two things you want to ask yourself first are, does your idea solve a problem, and do people care about the problem you are trying to solve? Even if you have the most interesting idea for an invention, if it does not solve a problem that people care about, then it is essentially useless, and the USPTO will not grant you a patent for your invention.
Does Your Idea Solve the Problem Efficiently?
Once you have determined that your idea does in fact solve a problem that people care about, you will want to ask yourself if your idea solves the problem efficiently. No one will want to use your product if it is more trouble than it is worth. Make sure your idea solves a problem in the most efficient way possible.
Has Someone Already Patented Your Idea?
In order to get a patent on your idea, it must be a completely new idea or an improvement on an already existing product. You cannot simply copy someone else’s invention that they have already patented. Whether your idea is a significant enough improvement on an existing product is a question that must be answered on a case-by-case basis. As a general rule of thumb, the more similar your idea is to an existing product, the less likely your patent application will be granted. You will also want to consider the practical aspects of patenting an invention that is too similar to an already existing product. Even if your patent application is approved, you may still have a hard time selling your product to the public and convincing them that your product is better than an already existing one.
Contact a Santa Monica or Los Angeles Patent Law Attorney Today
It often helps to get an objective third party’s opinion on whether your idea appears to meet the guidelines set forth above. The patent law attorneys at Verhagen Bennett have counseled numerous Santa Monica and Los Angeles individuals and businesses on whether their ideas are useful and original, and we are here to help you make that determination about your new idea or invention. Contact us today at 310-917-1064 or online to schedule your free consultation.
(image courtesy Fachy Marin)
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© 2018 Verhagen Bennett LLP — This article is for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.